Detroit Swindle ‘Boxed Out’

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Title: Boxed Out
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Highly anticipated, and already reviewed on a number of other sites, from where we’re sitting it’s fitting that our judgement on this debut LP from a rather well regarded pair of Dutchmen had to be delayed. After all, in the time between then and now the climate outside our UK office, and no doubt that of the Netherlands, has shifted into a mode much more fitting for a release like this.

Summertime vibes abound on Detroit Swindle’s Boxed Out then, a place where warm pads and soft refrains seem to pervade from almost every minute on the playlist. Of course there are touches of meatier stuff- this is more Motor City Drum Ensemble, and less Moodymann, with beats, on the whole, chunky and weighing in with some force. And acidic tones make up a sizeable portion of offerings such as Shotgun, albeit the tune never forgets it’s part of a larger body of stylistically unified work, marrying warbling synth lunacy and tech-hi hats with an inviting, French-sounding punchiness that wouldn’t feel out of place within a compilation of stuff that didn’t quite make it onto Daft Punk’s inaugural full lengther, Homework.

Of course these ‘revelations’ will come as no surprise to anyone who has seen the duo doing their thing in DJ booths across the world in the last year or so. For The Love Of nods to their penchant for that other Detroit-ism, with classic soul samples laid down atop a lackadaisical-yet-staccato, hip-hop inflected beat, creating a workout that nods to Bibio, Howie B, Jazzanova and several other soundtracks to happy afternoons spent beneath the scorching rays of a strong sun. In many ways then, Boxed Out is the album dedicated followers have been wanting, but not necessarily the album people looking for something more complex from ‘the Swindle’ had hoped for- the result not being a disappointment so much as a missed opportunity to deliver a collection of truly groundbreaking music, although there’s no denying the pair remain pleasingly true to themselves, or at least what we know them best for. In short, it could be better, but we’re honestly not really complaining.